Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais

Understanding Rav’s ruling on hefsek taharah

26 January, 2016


I thought I learned that the bedikah cloth for a hefsek taharah must be entirely clean, but two times I have had some dark red/light brown staining on the moch and the bedikah cloth from the morning, which is leftover menses. The Rabbi has told me that it is fine and I just want to make sure that this is the case – Is it because it is not active bleeding it is not considered to be a barrier to beginning to count the 7 clean days?


Some halachic decisors do take the position that a hefsek taharah must be entirely clean. However, it is more common to assess a hefsek taharah like a regular bedikah, in which case the woman's status depends on the exact shade of what is found on it. Some browns are indeed acceptable (and we would assume that your rav would not characterize the color as dark red).  However, you should feel free to contact him to clarify.  

A distinction between more or less "active" bleeding does not affect the evaluation of a hefsek taharah.

Please write back with any further questions.

This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.

Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under